Cloudy eyes in a dog are a symptom of many canine eye conditions, some of which can lead to vision loss and blindness. So, what does it mean if my dog has cloudy eyes? And when should I be concerned? Here’s everything you need to know about your dog’s cloudy eyes:
Why do my dog’s eyes look cloudy?
When a dog’s eye starts to “cloud over,” a visible haze appears over the lens of the dog’s eye. It can impact one or both eyes, and there may be visual differences between the two eyes. Cloudiness can start very small but can also cover the entire lens. The appearance of the haze will vary depending on the cause of the cloudiness and the severity. Many eye conditions can cause a dog’s eyes to become hazy, gray, or cloudy. Some eye conditions that can cause a dog’s eyes to look cloudy include:
- Old age
- Nuclear sclerosis
- Corneal dystrophy
- Anterior Uveitis
Age-related changes to a dog’s eye are not uncommon, and many older dogs’ eyes will change around the age of six. According to the ACVO, nuclear sclerosis is the most common age-related eye change in dogs. Nuclear sclerosis causes the dog’s eye to appear white and cloudy. Although similar in appearance to cataracts, the two conditions are very different. Nuclear sclerosis impacts the function of the dog’s lens and can cause farsightedness.
How do you treat cloudy eyes in a dog?
Your dog’s treatment plan will depend on which eye condition they’re diagnosed with. Haziness in a dog’s eye can indicate vision problems and may be painful. Any dog with cloudy eyes needs to be immediately seen and treated by their veterinarian.
Do cloudy eyes always mean blindness?
A hazy, milky white layer over the eye is an early indication that a dog is going blind. However, cloudy eyes don’t always mean that a pet is losing its eyesight or going blind. However, a dog with cataracts will likely become blind if and when the lens is entirely obscured. The blindness may develop slowly, impacting and changing the dog’s vision over time as the cataract grows.
How to Help a Pet with Cloudy Eyes
Visit the Veterinarian
Always note any physical changes you see in your dog’s body, even their eyes. Eye cloudiness and a filmy appearance likely mean your dog’s health has changed and should be taken seriously. Immediately contact your veterinarian. Your vet will run tests and check your pet’s eyesight. Early detection and treatment may help slow down vision loss.
Most importantly, follow your veterinarian’s treatment plan. Once a pet goes blind, the damage may be irreversible. Eye drops, medication, and even surgery are all possible treatments depending on the eye condition.
Keep Blind Pets Mobile
As a pet’s sight deteriorates, it can be debilitating to their quality of life. Although dogs have a keen sense of smell, it can be disorienting when they can no longer see the world around them. Blind pets often become lethargic and less active as their vision worsens, taking a toll on their mental and physical health.
Pets need to feel safe to stay active, which is challenging when you can’t see what’s in front of you. A blind dog halo is a simple way to help your pet stay aware of their surroundings and keep them safe. The halo works in two ways, as a barrier between your blind dog and nearby obstacles and as an alert system to help them determine where they are in their home. In addition, wearing a halo gives blind pets back their confidence and allows them to move safely around their home.